Plays  +  Sonnets  +  Poems  +  Concordance  +  Advanced Search  +  About OSS

Speeches (Lines) for Richard III (Duke of Gloucester)
in "Richard III"

Total: 301

# Act, Scene, Line
(Click to see in context)
Speech text



(stage directions). [Enter GLOUCESTER, solus]

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds that lour'd upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
Grim-visaged war hath smooth'd his wrinkled front;
And now, instead of mounting barded steeds
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;
I, that am rudely stamp'd, and want love's majesty
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
I, that am curtail'd of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
Deformed, unfinish'd, sent before my time
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable
That dogs bark at me as I halt by them;
Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace,
Have no delight to pass away the time,
Unless to spy my shadow in the sun
And descant on mine own deformity:
And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover,
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
I am determined to prove a villain
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous,
By drunken prophecies, libels and dreams,
To set my brother Clarence and the king
In deadly hate the one against the other:
And if King Edward be as true and just
As I am subtle, false and treacherous,
This day should Clarence closely be mew'd up,
About a prophecy, which says that 'G'
Of Edward's heirs the murderer shall be.
Dive, thoughts, down to my soul: here
Clarence comes.
[Enter CLARENCE, guarded, and BRAKENBURY]
Brother, good day; what means this armed guard
That waits upon your grace?



George Plantagenet (Duke of Clarence). His majesty
Tendering my person's safety, hath appointed
This conduct to convey me to the Tower.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Upon what cause?



George Plantagenet (Duke of Clarence). Because my name is George.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Alack, my lord, that fault is none of yours;
He should, for that, commit your godfathers:
O, belike his majesty hath some intent
That you shall be new-christen'd in the Tower.
But what's the matter, Clarence? may I know?



George Plantagenet (Duke of Clarence). Yea, Richard, when I know; for I protest
As yet I do not: but, as I can learn,
He hearkens after prophecies and dreams;
And from the cross-row plucks the letter G.
And says a wizard told him that by G
His issue disinherited should be;
And, for my name of George begins with G,
It follows in his thought that I am he.
These, as I learn, and such like toys as these
Have moved his highness to commit me now.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Why, this it is, when men are ruled by women:
'Tis not the king that sends you to the Tower:
My Lady Grey his wife, Clarence, 'tis she
That tempers him to this extremity.
Was it not she and that good man of worship,
Anthony Woodville, her brother there,
That made him send Lord Hastings to the Tower,
From whence this present day he is deliver'd?
We are not safe, Clarence; we are not safe.



George Plantagenet (Duke of Clarence). By heaven, I think there's no man is secure
But the queen's kindred and night-walking heralds
That trudge betwixt the king and Mistress Shore.
Heard ye not what an humble suppliant
Lord hastings was to her for his delivery?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Humbly complaining to her deity
Got my lord chamberlain his liberty.
I'll tell you what; I think it is our way,
If we will keep in favour with the king,
To be her men and wear her livery:
The jealous o'erworn widow and herself,
Since that our brother dubb'd them gentlewomen.
Are mighty gossips in this monarchy.



Sir Robert Brakenbury. I beseech your graces both to pardon me;
His majesty hath straitly given in charge
That no man shall have private conference,
Of what degree soever, with his brother.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Even so; an't please your worship, Brakenbury,
You may partake of any thing we say:
We speak no treason, man: we say the king
Is wise and virtuous, and his noble queen
Well struck in years, fair, and not jealous;
We say that Shore's wife hath a pretty foot,
A cherry lip, a bonny eye, a passing pleasing tongue;
And that the queen's kindred are made gentle-folks:
How say you sir? Can you deny all this?



Sir Robert Brakenbury. With this, my lord, myself have nought to do.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Naught to do with mistress Shore! I tell thee, fellow,
He that doth naught with her, excepting one,
Were best he do it secretly, alone.



Sir Robert Brakenbury. What one, my lord?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Her husband, knave: wouldst thou betray me?



George Plantagenet (Duke of Clarence). We know thy charge, Brakenbury, and will obey.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). We are the queen's abjects, and must obey.
Brother, farewell: I will unto the king;
And whatsoever you will employ me in,
Were it to call King Edward's widow sister,
I will perform it to enfranchise you.
Meantime, this deep disgrace in brotherhood
Touches me deeper than you can imagine.



George Plantagenet (Duke of Clarence). I know it pleaseth neither of us well.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Well, your imprisonment shall not be long;
Meantime, have patience.



(stage directions). [Exeunt CLARENCE, BRAKENBURY, and Guard]

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Go, tread the path that thou shalt ne'er return.
Simple, plain Clarence! I do love thee so,
That I will shortly send thy soul to heaven,
If heaven will take the present at our hands.
But who comes here? the new-deliver'd Hastings?



Lord Hastings. Good time of day unto my gracious lord!

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). As much unto my good lord chamberlain!
Well are you welcome to the open air.
How hath your lordship brook'd imprisonment?



Lord Hastings. With patience, noble lord, as prisoners must:
But I shall live, my lord, to give them thanks
That were the cause of my imprisonment.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). No doubt, no doubt; and so shall Clarence too;
For they that were your enemies are his,
And have prevail'd as much on him as you.



Lord Hastings. More pity that the eagle should be mew'd,
While kites and buzzards prey at liberty.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). What news abroad?



Lord Hastings. No news so bad abroad as this at home;
The King is sickly, weak and melancholy,
And his physicians fear him mightily.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Now, by Saint Paul, this news is bad indeed.
O, he hath kept an evil diet long,
And overmuch consumed his royal person:
'Tis very grievous to be thought upon.
What, is he in his bed?



Lord Hastings. He is.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Go you before, and I will follow you.
He cannot live, I hope; and must not die
Till George be pack'd with post-horse up to heaven.
I'll in, to urge his hatred more to Clarence,
With lies well steel'd with weighty arguments;
And, if I fall not in my deep intent,
Clarence hath not another day to live:
Which done, God take King Edward to his mercy,
And leave the world for me to bustle in!
For then I'll marry Warwick's youngest daughter.
What though I kill'd her husband and her father?
The readiest way to make the wench amends
Is to become her husband and her father:
The which will I; not all so much for love
As for another secret close intent,
By marrying her which I must reach unto.
But yet I run before my horse to market:
Clarence still breathes; Edward still lives and reigns:
When they are gone, then must I count my gains.



(stage directions). [Enter GLOUCESTER]

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Stay, you that bear the corse, and set it down.



Lady Anne. What black magician conjures up this fiend,
To stop devoted charitable deeds?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Villains, set down the corse; or, by Saint Paul,
I'll make a corse of him that disobeys.



Gentleman. My lord, stand back, and let the coffin pass.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Unmanner'd dog! stand thou, when I command:
Advance thy halbert higher than my breast,
Or, by Saint Paul, I'll strike thee to my foot,
And spurn upon thee, beggar, for thy boldness.



Lady Anne. What, do you tremble? are you all afraid?
Alas, I blame you not; for you are mortal,
And mortal eyes cannot endure the devil.
Avaunt, thou dreadful minister of hell!
Thou hadst but power over his mortal body,
His soul thou canst not have; therefore be gone.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Sweet saint, for charity, be not so curst.



Lady Anne. Foul devil, for God's sake, hence, and trouble us not;
For thou hast made the happy earth thy hell,
Fill'd it with cursing cries and deep exclaims.
If thou delight to view thy heinous deeds,
Behold this pattern of thy butcheries.
O, gentlemen, see, see! dead Henry's wounds
Open their congeal'd mouths and bleed afresh!
Blush, Blush, thou lump of foul deformity;
For 'tis thy presence that exhales this blood
From cold and empty veins, where no blood dwells;
Thy deed, inhuman and unnatural,
Provokes this deluge most unnatural.
O God, which this blood madest, revenge his death!
O earth, which this blood drink'st revenge his death!
Either heaven with lightning strike the
murderer dead,
Or earth, gape open wide and eat him quick,
As thou dost swallow up this good king's blood
Which his hell-govern'd arm hath butchered!

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Lady, you know no rules of charity,
Which renders good for bad, blessings for curses.



Lady Anne. Villain, thou know'st no law of God nor man:
No beast so fierce but knows some touch of pity.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). But I know none, and therefore am no beast.



Lady Anne. O wonderful, when devils tell the truth!

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). More wonderful, when angels are so angry.
Vouchsafe, divine perfection of a woman,
Of these supposed-evils, to give me leave,
By circumstance, but to acquit myself.



Lady Anne. Vouchsafe, defused infection of a man,
For these known evils, but to give me leave,
By circumstance, to curse thy cursed self.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Fairer than tongue can name thee, let me have
Some patient leisure to excuse myself.



Lady Anne. Fouler than heart can think thee, thou canst make
No excuse current, but to hang thyself.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). By such despair, I should accuse myself.



Lady Anne. And, by despairing, shouldst thou stand excused;
For doing worthy vengeance on thyself,
Which didst unworthy slaughter upon others.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Say that I slew them not?



Lady Anne. Why, then they are not dead:
But dead they are, and devilish slave, by thee.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). I did not kill your husband.



Lady Anne. Why, then he is alive.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Nay, he is dead; and slain by Edward's hand.



Lady Anne. In thy foul throat thou liest: Queen Margaret saw
Thy murderous falchion smoking in his blood;
The which thou once didst bend against her breast,
But that thy brothers beat aside the point.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). I was provoked by her slanderous tongue,
which laid their guilt upon my guiltless shoulders.



Lady Anne. Thou wast provoked by thy bloody mind.
Which never dreamt on aught but butcheries:
Didst thou not kill this king?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). I grant ye.



Lady Anne. Dost grant me, hedgehog? then, God grant me too
Thou mayst be damned for that wicked deed!
O, he was gentle, mild, and virtuous!

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). The fitter for the King of heaven, that hath him.



Lady Anne. He is in heaven, where thou shalt never come.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Let him thank me, that holp to send him thither;
For he was fitter for that place than earth.



Lady Anne. And thou unfit for any place but hell.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Yes, one place else, if you will hear me name it.



Lady Anne. Some dungeon.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Your bed-chamber.



Lady Anne. I'll rest betide the chamber where thou liest!

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). So will it, madam till I lie with you.



Lady Anne. I hope so.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). I know so. But, gentle Lady Anne,
To leave this keen encounter of our wits,
And fall somewhat into a slower method,
Is not the causer of the timeless deaths
Of these Plantagenets, Henry and Edward,
As blameful as the executioner?



Lady Anne. Thou art the cause, and most accursed effect.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Your beauty was the cause of that effect;
Your beauty: which did haunt me in my sleep
To undertake the death of all the world,
So I might live one hour in your sweet bosom.



Lady Anne. If I thought that, I tell thee, homicide,
These nails should rend that beauty from my cheeks.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). These eyes could never endure sweet beauty's wreck;
You should not blemish it, if I stood by:
As all the world is cheered by the sun,
So I by that; it is my day, my life.



Lady Anne. Black night o'ershade thy day, and death thy life!

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Curse not thyself, fair creature thou art both.



Lady Anne. I would I were, to be revenged on thee.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). It is a quarrel most unnatural,
To be revenged on him that loveth you.



Lady Anne. It is a quarrel just and reasonable,
To be revenged on him that slew my husband.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). He that bereft thee, lady, of thy husband,
Did it to help thee to a better husband.



Lady Anne. His better doth not breathe upon the earth.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). He lives that loves thee better than he could.



Lady Anne. Name him.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Plantagenet.



Lady Anne. Why, that was he.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). The selfsame name, but one of better nature.



Lady Anne. Where is he?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Here.
[She spitteth at him]
Why dost thou spit at me?



Lady Anne. Would it were mortal poison, for thy sake!

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Never came poison from so sweet a place.



Lady Anne. Never hung poison on a fouler toad.
Out of my sight! thou dost infect my eyes.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Thine eyes, sweet lady, have infected mine.



Lady Anne. Would they were basilisks, to strike thee dead!

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). I would they were, that I might die at once;
For now they kill me with a living death.
Those eyes of thine from mine have drawn salt tears,
Shamed their aspect with store of childish drops:
These eyes that never shed remorseful tear,
No, when my father York and Edward wept,
To hear the piteous moan that Rutland made
When black-faced Clifford shook his sword at him;
Nor when thy warlike father, like a child,
Told the sad story of my father's death,
And twenty times made pause to sob and weep,
That all the standers-by had wet their cheeks
Like trees bedash'd with rain: in that sad time
My manly eyes did scorn an humble tear;
And what these sorrows could not thence exhale,
Thy beauty hath, and made them blind with weeping.
I never sued to friend nor enemy;
My tongue could never learn sweet smoothing word;
But now thy beauty is proposed my fee,
My proud heart sues, and prompts my tongue to speak.
[She looks scornfully at him]
Teach not thy lips such scorn, for they were made
For kissing, lady, not for such contempt.
If thy revengeful heart cannot forgive,
Lo, here I lend thee this sharp-pointed sword;
Which if thou please to hide in this true bosom.
And let the soul forth that adoreth thee,
I lay it naked to the deadly stroke,
And humbly beg the death upon my knee.
[He lays his breast open: she offers at it with his sword]
Nay, do not pause; for I did kill King Henry,
But 'twas thy beauty that provoked me.
Nay, now dispatch; 'twas I that stabb'd young Edward,
But 'twas thy heavenly face that set me on.
[Here she lets fall the sword]
Take up the sword again, or take up me.



Lady Anne. Arise, dissembler: though I wish thy death,
I will not be the executioner.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Then bid me kill myself, and I will do it.



Lady Anne. I have already.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Tush, that was in thy rage:
Speak it again, and, even with the word,
That hand, which, for thy love, did kill thy love,
Shall, for thy love, kill a far truer love;
To both their deaths thou shalt be accessary.



Lady Anne. I would I knew thy heart.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). 'Tis figured in my tongue.



Lady Anne. I fear me both are false.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Then never man was true.



Lady Anne. Well, well, put up your sword.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Say, then, my peace is made.



Lady Anne. That shall you know hereafter.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). But shall I live in hope?



Lady Anne. All men, I hope, live so.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Vouchsafe to wear this ring.



Lady Anne. To take is not to give.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Look, how this ring encompasseth finger.
Even so thy breast encloseth my poor heart;
Wear both of them, for both of them are thine.
And if thy poor devoted suppliant may
But beg one favour at thy gracious hand,
Thou dost confirm his happiness for ever.



Lady Anne. What is it?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). That it would please thee leave these sad designs
To him that hath more cause to be a mourner,
And presently repair to Crosby Place;
Where, after I have solemnly interr'd
At Chertsey monastery this noble king,
And wet his grave with my repentant tears,
I will with all expedient duty see you:
For divers unknown reasons. I beseech you,
Grant me this boon.



Lady Anne. With all my heart; and much it joys me too,
To see you are become so penitent.
Tressel and Berkeley, go along with me.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Bid me farewell.



(stage directions). [Exeunt LADY ANNE, TRESSEL, and BERKELEY]

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Sirs, take up the corse.



Gentlemen. Towards Chertsey, noble lord?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). No, to White-Friars; there attend my coining.
[Exeunt all but GLOUCESTER]
Was ever woman in this humour woo'd?
Was ever woman in this humour won?
I'll have her; but I will not keep her long.
What! I, that kill'd her husband and his father,
To take her in her heart's extremest hate,
With curses in her mouth, tears in her eyes,
The bleeding witness of her hatred by;
Having God, her conscience, and these bars
against me,
And I nothing to back my suit at all,
But the plain devil and dissembling looks,
And yet to win her, all the world to nothing!
Hath she forgot already that brave prince,
Edward, her lord, whom I, some three months since,
Stabb'd in my angry mood at Tewksbury?
A sweeter and a lovelier gentleman,
Framed in the prodigality of nature,
Young, valiant, wise, and, no doubt, right royal,
The spacious world cannot again afford
And will she yet debase her eyes on me,
That cropp'd the golden prime of this sweet prince,
And made her widow to a woful bed?
On me, whose all not equals Edward's moiety?
On me, that halt and am unshapen thus?
My dukedom to a beggarly denier,
I do mistake my person all this while:
Upon my life, she finds, although I cannot,
Myself to be a marvellous proper man.
I'll be at charges for a looking-glass,
And entertain some score or two of tailors,
To study fashions to adorn my body:
Since I am crept in favour with myself,
Will maintain it with some little cost.
But first I'll turn yon fellow in his grave;
And then return lamenting to my love.
Shine out, fair sun, till I have bought a glass,
That I may see my shadow as I pass.



(stage directions). [Enter GLOUCESTER, HASTINGS, and DORSET]

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). They do me wrong, and I will not endure it:
Who are they that complain unto the king,
That I, forsooth, am stern, and love them not?
By holy Paul, they love his grace but lightly
That fill his ears with such dissentious rumours.
Because I cannot flatter and speak fair,
Smile in men's faces, smooth, deceive and cog,
Duck with French nods and apish courtesy,
I must be held a rancorous enemy.
Cannot a plain man live and think no harm,
But thus his simple truth must be abused
By silken, sly, insinuating Jacks?



Lord (Earl) Rivers. To whom in all this presence speaks your grace?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). To thee, that hast nor honesty nor grace.
When have I injured thee? when done thee wrong?
Or thee? or thee? or any of your faction?
A plague upon you all! His royal person,—
Whom God preserve better than you would wish!—
Cannot be quiet scarce a breathing-while,
But you must trouble him with lewd complaints.



Queen Elizabeth. Brother of Gloucester, you mistake the matter.
The king, of his own royal disposition,
And not provoked by any suitor else;
Aiming, belike, at your interior hatred,
Which in your outward actions shows itself
Against my kindred, brothers, and myself,
Makes him to send; that thereby he may gather
The ground of your ill-will, and so remove it.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). I cannot tell: the world is grown so bad,
That wrens make prey where eagles dare not perch:
Since every Jack became a gentleman
There's many a gentle person made a Jack.



Queen Elizabeth. Come, come, we know your meaning, brother
You envy my advancement and my friends':
God grant we never may have need of you!

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Meantime, God grants that we have need of you:
Your brother is imprison'd by your means,
Myself disgraced, and the nobility
Held in contempt; whilst many fair promotions
Are daily given to ennoble those
That scarce, some two days since, were worth a noble.



Queen Elizabeth. By Him that raised me to this careful height
From that contented hap which I enjoy'd,
I never did incense his majesty
Against the Duke of Clarence, but have been
An earnest advocate to plead for him.
My lord, you do me shameful injury,
Falsely to draw me in these vile suspects.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). You may deny that you were not the cause
Of my Lord Hastings' late imprisonment.



Lord (Earl) Rivers. She may, my lord, for—

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). She may, Lord Rivers! why, who knows not so?
She may do more, sir, than denying that:
She may help you to many fair preferments,
And then deny her aiding hand therein,
And lay those honours on your high deserts.
What may she not? She may, yea, marry, may she—



Lord (Earl) Rivers. What, marry, may she?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). What, marry, may she! marry with a king,
A bachelor, a handsome stripling too:
I wis your grandam had a worser match.



Queen Margaret. And lessen'd be that small, God, I beseech thee!
Thy honour, state and seat is due to me.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). What! threat you me with telling of the king?
Tell him, and spare not: look, what I have said
I will avouch in presence of the king:
I dare adventure to be sent to the Tower.
'Tis time to speak; my pains are quite forgot.



Queen Margaret. Out, devil! I remember them too well:
Thou slewest my husband Henry in the Tower,
And Edward, my poor son, at Tewksbury.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Ere you were queen, yea, or your husband king,
I was a pack-horse in his great affairs;
A weeder-out of his proud adversaries,
A liberal rewarder of his friends:
To royalize his blood I spilt mine own.



Queen Margaret. Yea, and much better blood than his or thine.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). In all which time you and your husband Grey
Were factious for the house of Lancaster;
And, Rivers, so were you. Was not your husband
In Margaret's battle at Saint Alban's slain?
Let me put in your minds, if you forget,
What you have been ere now, and what you are;
Withal, what I have been, and what I am.



Queen Margaret. A murderous villain, and so still thou art.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Poor Clarence did forsake his father, Warwick;
Yea, and forswore himself,—which Jesu pardon!—



Queen Margaret. Which God revenge!

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). To fight on Edward's party for the crown;
And for his meed, poor lord, he is mew'd up.
I would to God my heart were flint, like Edward's;
Or Edward's soft and pitiful, like mine
I am too childish-foolish for this world.



Lord (Earl) Rivers. My Lord of Gloucester, in those busy days
Which here you urge to prove us enemies,
We follow'd then our lord, our lawful king:
So should we you, if you should be our king.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). If I should be! I had rather be a pedlar:
Far be it from my heart, the thought of it!



Queen Margaret. A little joy enjoys the queen thereof;
For I am she, and altogether joyless.
I can no longer hold me patient.
Hear me, you wrangling pirates, that fall out
In sharing that which you have pill'd from me!
Which of you trembles not that looks on me?
If not, that, I being queen, you bow like subjects,
Yet that, by you deposed, you quake like rebels?
O gentle villain, do not turn away!

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Foul wrinkled witch, what makest thou in my sight?



Queen Margaret. But repetition of what thou hast marr'd;
That will I make before I let thee go.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Wert thou not banished on pain of death?



Queen Margaret. I was; but I do find more pain in banishment
Than death can yield me here by my abode.
A husband and a son thou owest to me;
And thou a kingdom; all of you allegiance:
The sorrow that I have, by right is yours,
And all the pleasures you usurp are mine.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). The curse my noble father laid on thee,
When thou didst crown his warlike brows with paper
And with thy scorns drew'st rivers from his eyes,
And then, to dry them, gavest the duke a clout
Steep'd in the faultless blood of pretty Rutland—
His curses, then from bitterness of soul
Denounced against thee, are all fall'n upon thee;
And God, not we, hath plagued thy bloody deed.



Queen Margaret. What were you snarling all before I came,
Ready to catch each other by the throat,
And turn you all your hatred now on me?
Did York's dread curse prevail so much with heaven?
That Henry's death, my lovely Edward's death,
Their kingdom's loss, my woful banishment,
Could all but answer for that peevish brat?
Can curses pierce the clouds and enter heaven?
Why, then, give way, dull clouds, to my quick curses!
If not by war, by surfeit die your king,
As ours by murder, to make him a king!
Edward thy son, which now is Prince of Wales,
For Edward my son, which was Prince of Wales,
Die in his youth by like untimely violence!
Thyself a queen, for me that was a queen,
Outlive thy glory, like my wretched self!
Long mayst thou live to wail thy children's loss;
And see another, as I see thee now,
Deck'd in thy rights, as thou art stall'd in mine!
Long die thy happy days before thy death;
And, after many lengthen'd hours of grief,
Die neither mother, wife, nor England's queen!
Rivers and Dorset, you were standers by,
And so wast thou, Lord Hastings, when my son
Was stabb'd with bloody daggers: God, I pray him,
That none of you may live your natural age,
But by some unlook'd accident cut off!

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Have done thy charm, thou hateful wither'd hag!



Queen Margaret. And leave out thee? stay, dog, for thou shalt hear me.
If heaven have any grievous plague in store
Exceeding those that I can wish upon thee,
O, let them keep it till thy sins be ripe,
And then hurl down their indignation
On thee, the troubler of the poor world's peace!
The worm of conscience still begnaw thy soul!
Thy friends suspect for traitors while thou livest,
And take deep traitors for thy dearest friends!
No sleep close up that deadly eye of thine,
Unless it be whilst some tormenting dream
Affrights thee with a hell of ugly devils!
Thou elvish-mark'd, abortive, rooting hog!
Thou that wast seal'd in thy nativity
The slave of nature and the son of hell!
Thou slander of thy mother's heavy womb!
Thou loathed issue of thy father's loins!
Thou rag of honour! thou detested—

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Margaret.



Queen Margaret. Richard!

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Ha!



Queen Margaret. I call thee not.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). I cry thee mercy then, for I had thought
That thou hadst call'd me all these bitter names.



Queen Margaret. Why, so I did; but look'd for no reply.
O, let me make the period to my curse!

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). 'Tis done by me, and ends in 'Margaret.'



Queen Margaret. Peace, master marquess, you are malapert:
Your fire-new stamp of honour is scarce current.
O, that your young nobility could judge
What 'twere to lose it, and be miserable!
They that stand high have many blasts to shake them;
And if they fall, they dash themselves to pieces.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Good counsel, marry: learn it, learn it, marquess.



Marquis of Dorset. It toucheth you, my lord, as much as me.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Yea, and much more: but I was born so high,
Our aery buildeth in the cedar's top,
And dallies with the wind and scorns the sun.



Queen Margaret. I'll not believe but they ascend the sky,
And there awake God's gentle-sleeping peace.
O Buckingham, take heed of yonder dog!
Look, when he fawns, he bites; and when he bites,
His venom tooth will rankle to the death:
Have not to do with him, beware of him;
Sin, death, and hell have set their marks on him,
And all their ministers attend on him.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). What doth she say, my Lord of Buckingham?



Lord (Earl) Rivers. And so doth mine: I muse why she's at liberty.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). I cannot blame her: by God's holy mother,
She hath had too much wrong; and I repent
My part thereof that I have done to her.



Queen Elizabeth. I never did her any, to my knowledge.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). But you have all the vantage of her wrong.
I was too hot to do somebody good,
That is too cold in thinking of it now.
Marry, as for Clarence, he is well repaid,
He is frank'd up to fatting for his pains
God pardon them that are the cause of it!



Lord (Earl) Rivers. A virtuous and a Christian-like conclusion,
To pray for them that have done scathe to us.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). So do I ever:
being well-advised.
For had I cursed now, I had cursed myself.



(stage directions). [Exeunt all but GLOUCESTER]

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). I do the wrong, and first begin to brawl.
The secret mischiefs that I set abroach
I lay unto the grievous charge of others.
Clarence, whom I, indeed, have laid in darkness,
I do beweep to many simple gulls
Namely, to Hastings, Derby, Buckingham;
And say it is the queen and her allies
That stir the king against the duke my brother.
Now, they believe it; and withal whet me
To be revenged on Rivers, Vaughan, Grey:
But then I sigh; and, with a piece of scripture,
Tell them that God bids us do good for evil:
And thus I clothe my naked villany
With old odd ends stolen out of holy writ;
And seem a saint, when most I play the devil.
[Enter two Murderers]
But, soft! here come my executioners.
How now, my hardy, stout resolved mates!
Are you now going to dispatch this deed?



First Murderer. We are, my lord; and come to have the warrant
That we may be admitted where he is.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Well thought upon; I have it here about me.
[Gives the warrant]
When you have done, repair to Crosby Place.
But, sirs, be sudden in the execution,
Withal obdurate, do not hear him plead;
For Clarence is well-spoken, and perhaps
May move your hearts to pity if you mark him.



First Murderer. Tush!
Fear not, my lord, we will not stand to prate;
Talkers are no good doers: be assured
We come to use our hands and not our tongues.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Your eyes drop millstones, when fools' eyes drop tears:
I like you, lads; about your business straight;
Go, go, dispatch.



(stage directions). [Enter GLOUCESTER]

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Good morrow to my sovereign king and queen:
And, princely peers, a happy time of day!



King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Happy, indeed, as we have spent the day.
Brother, we done deeds of charity;
Made peace enmity, fair love of hate,
Between these swelling wrong-incensed peers.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). A blessed labour, my most sovereign liege:
Amongst this princely heap, if any here,
By false intelligence, or wrong surmise,
Hold me a foe;
If I unwittingly, or in my rage,
Have aught committed that is hardly borne
By any in this presence, I desire
To reconcile me to his friendly peace:
'Tis death to me to be at enmity;
I hate it, and desire all good men's love.
First, madam, I entreat true peace of you,
Which I will purchase with my duteous service;
Of you, my noble cousin Buckingham,
If ever any grudge were lodged between us;
Of you, Lord Rivers, and, Lord Grey, of you;
That without desert have frown'd on me;
Dukes, earls, lords, gentlemen; indeed, of all.
I do not know that Englishman alive
With whom my soul is any jot at odds
More than the infant that is born to-night
I thank my God for my humility.



Queen Elizabeth. A holy day shall this be kept hereafter:
I would to God all strifes were well compounded.
My sovereign liege, I do beseech your majesty
To take our brother Clarence to your grace.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Why, madam, have I offer'd love for this
To be so bouted in this royal presence?
Who knows not that the noble duke is dead?
[They all start]
You do him injury to scorn his corse.



King Edward IV (Plantagenet). Is Clarence dead? the order was reversed.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). But he, poor soul, by your first order died,
And that a winged Mercury did bear:
Some tardy cripple bore the countermand,
That came too lag to see him buried.
God grant that some, less noble and less loyal,
Nearer in bloody thoughts, but not in blood,
Deserve not worse than wretched Clarence did,
And yet go current from suspicion!



(stage directions). [Exeunt some with KING EDWARD IV and QUEEN MARGARET]

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). This is the fruit of rashness! Mark'd you not
How that the guilty kindred of the queen
Look'd pale when they did hear of Clarence' death?
O, they did urge it still unto the king!
God will revenge it. But come, let us in,
To comfort Edward with our company.




Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Madam, have comfort: all of us have cause
To wail the dimming of our shining star;
But none can cure their harms by wailing them.
Madam, my mother, I do cry you mercy;
I did not see your grace: humbly on my knee
I crave your blessing.



Duchess of York. God bless thee; and put meekness in thy mind,
Love, charity, obedience, and true duty!

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). [Aside] Amen; and make me die a good old man!
That is the butt-end of a mother's blessing:
I marvel why her grace did leave it out.



Duke of Buckingham. Marry, my lord, lest, by a multitude,
The new-heal'd wound of malice should break out,
Which would be so much the more dangerous
By how much the estate is green and yet ungovern'd:
Where every horse bears his commanding rein,
And may direct his course as please himself,
As well the fear of harm, as harm apparent,
In my opinion, ought to be prevented.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). I hope the king made peace with all of us
And the compact is firm and true in me.



Lord Hastings. And so say I.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Then be it so; and go we to determine
Who they shall be that straight shall post to Ludlow.
Madam, and you, my mother, will you go
To give your censures in this weighty business?



Duke of Buckingham. My lord, whoever journeys to the Prince,
For God's sake, let not us two be behind;
For, by the way, I'll sort occasion,
As index to the story we late talk'd of,
To part the queen's proud kindred from the king.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). My other self, my counsel's consistory,
My oracle, my prophet! My dear cousin,
I, like a child, will go by thy direction.
Towards Ludlow then, for we'll not stay behind.



Duke of Buckingham. Welcome, sweet prince, to London, to your chamber.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Welcome, dear cousin, my thoughts' sovereign
The weary way hath made you melancholy.



Prince Edward. No, uncle; but our crosses on the way
Have made it tedious, wearisome, and heavy
I want more uncles here to welcome me.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Sweet prince, the untainted virtue of your years
Hath not yet dived into the world's deceit
Nor more can you distinguish of a man
Than of his outward show; which, God he knows,
Seldom or never jumpeth with the heart.
Those uncles which you want were dangerous;
Your grace attended to their sugar'd words,
But look'd not on the poison of their hearts :
God keep you from them, and from such false friends!



Prince Edward. God keep me from false friends! but they were none.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). My lord, the mayor of London comes to greet you.



Prince Edward. Good lords, make all the speedy haste you may.
Say, uncle Gloucester, if our brother come,
Where shall we sojourn till our coronation?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Where it seems best unto your royal self.
If I may counsel you, some day or two
Your highness shall repose you at the Tower:
Then where you please, and shall be thought most fit
For your best health and recreation.



Prince Edward. But say, my lord, it were not register'd,
Methinks the truth should live from age to age,
As 'twere retail'd to all posterity,
Even to the general all-ending day.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). [Aside] So wise so young, they say, do never
live long.



Prince Edward. What say you, uncle?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). I say, without characters, fame lives long.
Thus, like the formal vice, Iniquity,
I moralize two meanings in one word.



Prince Edward. An if I live until I be a man,
I'll win our ancient right in France again,
Or die a soldier, as I lived a king.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). [Aside] Short summers lightly have a forward spring.



Prince Edward. Ay, brother, to our grief, as it is yours:
Too late he died that might have kept that title,
Which by his death hath lost much majesty.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). How fares our cousin, noble Lord of York?



Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). I thank you, gentle uncle. O, my lord,
You said that idle weeds are fast in growth
The prince my brother hath outgrown me far.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). He hath, my lord.



Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). And therefore is he idle?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). O, my fair cousin, I must not say so.



Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Then is he more beholding to you than I.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). He may command me as my sovereign;
But you have power in me as in a kinsman.



Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). I pray you, uncle, give me this dagger.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). My dagger, little cousin? with all my heart.



Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). Of my kind uncle, that I know will give;
And being but a toy, which is no grief to give.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). A greater gift than that I'll give my cousin.



Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). A greater gift! O, that's the sword to it.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). A gentle cousin, were it light enough.



Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). O, then, I see, you will part but with light gifts;
In weightier things you'll say a beggar nay.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). It is too heavy for your grace to wear.



Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). I weigh it lightly, were it heavier.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). What, would you have my weapon, little lord?



Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). I would, that I might thank you as you call me.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). How?



Duke of Buckingham. With what a sharp-provided wit he reasons!
To mitigate the scorn he gives his uncle,
He prettily and aptly taunts himself:
So cunning and so young is wonderful.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). My lord, will't please you pass along?
Myself and my good cousin Buckingham
Will to your mother, to entreat of her
To meet you at the Tower and welcome you.



Richard Plantagenet (Duke of Gloucester). I shall not sleep in quiet at the Tower.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Why, what should you fear?



Prince Edward. I fear no uncles dead.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Nor none that live, I hope.



Duke of Buckingham. Think you, my lord, this little prating York
Was not incensed by his subtle mother
To taunt and scorn you thus opprobriously?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). No doubt, no doubt; O, 'tis a parlous boy;
Bold, quick, ingenious, forward, capable
He is all the mother's, from the top to toe.



Duke of Buckingham. Well, then, no more but this: go, gentle Catesby,
And, as it were far off sound thou Lord Hastings,
How doth he stand affected to our purpose;
And summon him to-morrow to the Tower,
To sit about the coronation.
If thou dost find him tractable to us,
Encourage him, and show him all our reasons:
If he be leaden, icy-cold, unwilling,
Be thou so too; and so break off your talk,
And give us notice of his inclination:
For we to-morrow hold divided councils,
Wherein thyself shalt highly be employ'd.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Commend me to Lord William: tell him, Catesby,
His ancient knot of dangerous adversaries
To-morrow are let blood at Pomfret-castle;
And bid my friend, for joy of this good news,
Give mistress Shore one gentle kiss the more.



Sir William Catesby. My good lords both, with all the heed I may.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Shall we hear from you, Catesby, ere we sleep?



Sir William Catesby. You shall, my lord.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). At Crosby Place, there shall you find us both.



Duke of Buckingham. Now, my lord, what shall we do, if we perceive
Lord Hastings will not yield to our complots?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Chop off his head, man; somewhat we will do:
And, look, when I am king, claim thou of me
The earldom of Hereford, and the moveables
Whereof the king my brother stood possess'd.



Duke of Buckingham. I'll claim that promise at your grace's hands.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). And look to have it yielded with all willingness.
Come, let us sup betimes, that afterwards
We may digest our complots in some form.



John Morton. Now in good time, here comes the duke himself.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). My noble lords and cousins all, good morrow.
I have been long a sleeper; but, I hope,
My absence doth neglect no great designs,
Which by my presence might have been concluded.



Duke of Buckingham. Had not you come upon your cue, my lord
William Lord Hastings had pronounced your part,—
I mean, your voice,—for crowning of the king.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Than my Lord Hastings no man might be bolder;
His lordship knows me well, and loves me well.



Lord Hastings. I thank your grace.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). My lord of Ely!



John Morton. My lord?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). When I was last in Holborn,
I saw good strawberries in your garden there
I do beseech you send for some of them.



(stage directions). [Exit]

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Cousin of Buckingham, a word with you.
[Drawing him aside]
Catesby hath sounded Hastings in our business,
And finds the testy gentleman so hot,
As he will lose his head ere give consent
His master's son, as worshipful as he terms it,
Shall lose the royalty of England's throne.



(stage directions). [Re-enter GLOUCESTER and BUCKINGHAM]

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). I pray you all, tell me what they deserve
That do conspire my death with devilish plots
Of damned witchcraft, and that have prevail'd
Upon my body with their hellish charms?



Lord Hastings. The tender love I bear your grace, my lord,
Makes me most forward in this noble presence
To doom the offenders, whatsoever they be
I say, my lord, they have deserved death.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Then be your eyes the witness of this ill:
See how I am bewitch'd; behold mine arm
Is, like a blasted sapling, wither'd up:
And this is Edward's wife, that monstrous witch,
Consorted with that harlot strumpet Shore,
That by their witchcraft thus have marked me.



Lord Hastings. If they have done this thing, my gracious lord—

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). If I thou protector of this damned strumpet—
Tellest thou me of 'ifs'? Thou art a traitor:
Off with his head! Now, by Saint Paul I swear,
I will not dine until I see the same.
Lovel and Ratcliff, look that it be done:
The rest, that love me, rise and follow me.



(stage directions). [Enter GLOUCESTER and BUCKINGHAM, in rotten armour, marvellous ill-favoured]

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Come, cousin, canst thou quake, and change thy colour,
Murder thy breath in the middle of a word,
And then begin again, and stop again,
As if thou wert distraught and mad with terror?



Duke of Buckingham. Tut, I can counterfeit the deep tragedian;
Speak and look back, and pry on every side,
Tremble and start at wagging of a straw,
Intending deep suspicion: ghastly looks
Are at my service, like enforced smiles;
And both are ready in their offices,
At any time, to grace my stratagems.
But what, is Catesby gone?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). He is; and, see, he brings the mayor along.



Duke of Buckingham. Lord mayor,—

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Look to the drawbridge there!



Duke of Buckingham. Hark! a drum.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Catesby, o'erlook the walls.



Duke of Buckingham. Lord mayor, the reason we have sent—

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Look back, defend thee, here are enemies.



Duke of Buckingham. God and our innocency defend and guard us!

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Be patient, they are friends, Ratcliff and Lovel.



Lord Lovel. Here is the head of that ignoble traitor,
The dangerous and unsuspected Hastings.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). So dear I loved the man, that I must weep.
I took him for the plainest harmless creature
That breathed upon this earth a Christian;
Made him my book wherein my soul recorded
The history of all her secret thoughts:
So smooth he daub'd his vice with show of virtue,
That, his apparent open guilt omitted,
I mean, his conversation with Shore's wife,
He lived from all attainder of suspect.



Lord Mayor of London. What, had he so?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). What, think You we are Turks or infidels?
Or that we would, against the form of law,
Proceed thus rashly to the villain's death,
But that the extreme peril of the case,
The peace of England and our persons' safety,
Enforced us to this execution?



Lord Mayor of London. Now, fair befall you! he deserved his death;
And you my good lords, both have well proceeded,
To warn false traitors from the like attempts.
I never look'd for better at his hands,
After he once fell in with Mistress Shore.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Yet had not we determined he should die,
Until your lordship came to see his death;
Which now the loving haste of these our friends,
Somewhat against our meaning, have prevented:
Because, my lord, we would have had you heard
The traitor speak, and timorously confess
The manner and the purpose of his treason;
That you might well have signified the same
Unto the citizens, who haply may
Misconstrue us in him and wail his death.



Lord Mayor of London. But, my good lord, your grace's word shall serve,
As well as I had seen and heard him speak
And doubt you not, right noble princes both,
But I'll acquaint our duteous citizens
With all your just proceedings in this cause.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). And to that end we wish'd your lord-ship here,
To avoid the carping censures of the world.



(stage directions). [Exit Lord Mayor]

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Go, after, after, cousin Buckingham.
The mayor towards Guildhall hies him in all post:
There, at your meet'st advantage of the time,
Infer the bastardy of Edward's children:
Tell them how Edward put to death a citizen,
Only for saying he would make his son
Heir to the crown; meaning indeed his house,
Which, by the sign thereof was termed so.
Moreover, urge his hateful luxury
And bestial appetite in change of lust;
Which stretched to their servants, daughters, wives,
Even where his lustful eye or savage heart,
Without control, listed to make his prey.
Nay, for a need, thus far come near my person:
Tell them, when that my mother went with child
Of that unsatiate Edward, noble York
My princely father then had wars in France
And, by just computation of the time,
Found that the issue was not his begot;
Which well appeared in his lineaments,
Being nothing like the noble duke my father:
But touch this sparingly, as 'twere far off,
Because you know, my lord, my mother lives.



Duke of Buckingham. Fear not, my lord, I'll play the orator
As if the golden fee for which I plead
Were for myself: and so, my lord, adieu.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). If you thrive well, bring them to Baynard's Castle;
Where you shall find me well accompanied
With reverend fathers and well-learned bishops.



(stage directions). [Exit BUCKINGHAM]

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Go, Lovel, with all speed to Doctor Shaw;
Go thou to Friar Penker; bid them both
Meet me within this hour at Baynard's Castle.
[Exeunt all but GLOUCESTER]
Now will I in, to take some privy order,
To draw the brats of Clarence out of sight;
And to give notice, that no manner of person
At any time have recourse unto the princes.



(stage directions). [Enter GLOUCESTER and BUCKINGHAM, at several doors]

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). How now, my lord, what say the citizens?



Duke of Buckingham. Now, by the holy mother of our Lord,
The citizens are mum and speak not a word.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Touch'd you the bastardy of Edward's children?



Duke of Buckingham. I did; with his contract with Lady Lucy,
And his contract by deputy in France;
The insatiate greediness of his desires,
And his enforcement of the city wives;
His tyranny for trifles; his own bastardy,
As being got, your father then in France,
His resemblance, being not like the duke;
Withal I did infer your lineaments,
Being the right idea of your father,
Both in your form and nobleness of mind;
Laid open all your victories in Scotland,
Your dicipline in war, wisdom in peace,
Your bounty, virtue, fair humility:
Indeed, left nothing fitting for the purpose
Untouch'd, or slightly handled, in discourse
And when mine oratory grew to an end
I bid them that did love their country's good
Cry 'God save Richard, England's royal king!'

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Ah! and did they so?



Duke of Buckingham. No, so God help me, they spake not a word;
But, like dumb statues or breathing stones,
Gazed each on other, and look'd deadly pale.
Which when I saw, I reprehended them;
And ask'd the mayor what meant this wilful silence:
His answer was, the people were not wont
To be spoke to but by the recorder.
Then he was urged to tell my tale again,
'Thus saith the duke, thus hath the duke inferr'd;'
But nothing spake in warrant from himself.
When he had done, some followers of mine own,
At the lower end of the hall, hurl'd up their caps,
And some ten voices cried 'God save King Richard!'
And thus I took the vantage of those few,
'Thanks, gentle citizens and friends,' quoth I;
'This general applause and loving shout
Argues your wisdoms and your love to Richard:'
And even here brake off, and came away.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). What tongueless blocks were they! would not they speak?



Duke of Buckingham. No, by my troth, my lord.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Will not the mayor then and his brethren come?



Duke of Buckingham. The mayor is here at hand: intend some fear;
Be not you spoke with, but by mighty suit:
And look you get a prayer-book in your hand,
And stand betwixt two churchmen, good my lord;
For on that ground I'll build a holy descant:
And be not easily won to our request:
Play the maid's part, still answer nay, and take it.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). I go; and if you plead as well for them
As I can say nay to thee for myself,
No doubt well bring it to a happy issue.



Duke of Buckingham. Two props of virtue for a Christian prince,
To stay him from the fall of vanity:
And, see, a book of prayer in his hand,
True ornaments to know a holy man.
Famous Plantagenet, most gracious prince,
Lend favourable ears to our request;
And pardon us the interruption
Of thy devotion and right Christian zeal.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). My lord, there needs no such apology:
I rather do beseech you pardon me,
Who, earnest in the service of my God,
Neglect the visitation of my friends.
But, leaving this, what is your grace's pleasure?



Duke of Buckingham. Even that, I hope, which pleaseth God above,
And all good men of this ungovern'd isle.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). I do suspect I have done some offence
That seems disgracious in the city's eyes,
And that you come to reprehend my ignorance.



Duke of Buckingham. You have, my lord: would it might please your grace,
At our entreaties, to amend that fault!

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Else wherefore breathe I in a Christian land?



Duke of Buckingham. Then know, it is your fault that you resign
The supreme seat, the throne majestical,
The scepter'd office of your ancestors,
Your state of fortune and your due of birth,
The lineal glory of your royal house,
To the corruption of a blemished stock:
Whilst, in the mildness of your sleepy thoughts,
Which here we waken to our country's good,
This noble isle doth want her proper limbs;
Her face defaced with scars of infamy,
Her royal stock graft with ignoble plants,
And almost shoulder'd in the swallowing gulf
Of blind forgetfulness and dark oblivion.
Which to recure, we heartily solicit
Your gracious self to take on you the charge
And kingly government of this your land,
Not as protector, steward, substitute,
Or lowly factor for another's gain;
But as successively from blood to blood,
Your right of birth, your empery, your own.
For this, consorted with the citizens,
Your very worshipful and loving friends,
And by their vehement instigation,
In this just suit come I to move your grace.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). I know not whether to depart in silence,
Or bitterly to speak in your reproof.
Best fitteth my degree or your condition
If not to answer, you might haply think
Tongue-tied ambition, not replying, yielded
To bear the golden yoke of sovereignty,
Which fondly you would here impose on me;
If to reprove you for this suit of yours,
So season'd with your faithful love to me.
Then, on the other side, I cheque'd my friends.
Therefore, to speak, and to avoid the first,
And then, in speaking, not to incur the last,
Definitively thus I answer you.
Your love deserves my thanks; but my desert
Unmeritable shuns your high request.
First if all obstacles were cut away,
And that my path were even to the crown,
As my ripe revenue and due by birth
Yet so much is my poverty of spirit,
So mighty and so many my defects,
As I had rather hide me from my greatness,
Being a bark to brook no mighty sea,
Than in my greatness covet to be hid,
And in the vapour of my glory smother'd.
But, God be thank'd, there's no need of me,
And much I need to help you, if need were;
The royal tree hath left us royal fruit,
Which, mellow'd by the stealing hours of time,
Will well become the seat of majesty,
And make, no doubt, us happy by his reign.
On him I lay what you would lay on me,
The right and fortune of his happy stars;
Which God defend that I should wring from him!



Sir William Catesby. O, make them joyful, grant their lawful suit!

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Alas, why would you heap these cares on me?
I am unfit for state and majesty;
I do beseech you, take it not amiss;
I cannot nor I will not yield to you.



Duke of Buckingham. If you refuse it,—as, in love and zeal,
Loath to depose the child, Your brother's son;
As well we know your tenderness of heart
And gentle, kind, effeminate remorse,
Which we have noted in you to your kin,
And egally indeed to all estates,—
Yet whether you accept our suit or no,
Your brother's son shall never reign our king;
But we will plant some other in the throne,
To the disgrace and downfall of your house:
And in this resolution here we leave you.—
Come, citizens: 'zounds! I'll entreat no more.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). O, do not swear, my lord of Buckingham.



Another. Do, good my lord, lest all the land do rue it.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Would you enforce me to a world of care?
Well, call them again. I am not made of stone,
But penetrable to your. kind entreats,
Albeit against my conscience and my soul.
[Re-enter BUCKINGHAM and the rest]
Cousin of Buckingham, and you sage, grave men,
Since you will buckle fortune on my back,
To bear her burthen, whether I will or no,
I must have patience to endure the load:
But if black scandal or foul-faced reproach
Attend the sequel of your imposition,
Your mere enforcement shall acquittance me
From all the impure blots and stains thereof;
For God he knows, and you may partly see,
How far I am from the desire thereof.



Lord Mayor of London. God bless your grace! we see it, and will say it.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). In saying so, you shall but say the truth.



Duke of Buckingham. To-morrow will it please you to be crown'd?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Even when you please, since you will have it so.



Duke of Buckingham. To-morrow, then, we will attend your grace:
And so most joyfully we take our leave.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Come, let us to our holy task again.
Farewell, good cousin; farewell, gentle friends.



(stage directions). [Sennet. Enter KING RICHARD III, in pomp, crowned; BUCKINGHAM, CATESBY, a page, and others]

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Stand all apart Cousin of Buckingham!



Duke of Buckingham. My gracious sovereign?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Give me thy hand.
[Here he ascendeth his throne]
Thus high, by thy advice
And thy assistance, is King Richard seated;
But shall we wear these honours for a day?
Or shall they last, and we rejoice in them?



Duke of Buckingham. Still live they and for ever may they last!

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). O Buckingham, now do I play the touch,
To try if thou be current gold indeed
Young Edward lives: think now what I would say.



Duke of Buckingham. Say on, my loving lord.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Why, Buckingham, I say, I would be king,



Duke of Buckingham. Why, so you are, my thrice renowned liege.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Ha! am I king? 'tis so: but Edward lives.



Duke of Buckingham. True, noble prince.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). O bitter consequence,
That Edward still should live! 'True, noble prince!'
Cousin, thou wert not wont to be so dull:
Shall I be plain? I wish the bastards dead;
And I would have it suddenly perform'd.
What sayest thou? speak suddenly; be brief.



Duke of Buckingham. Your grace may do your pleasure.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Tut, tut, thou art all ice, thy kindness freezeth:
Say, have I thy consent that they shall die?



Sir William Catesby. [Aside to a stander by]
The king is angry: see, he bites the lip.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). I will converse with iron-witted fools
And unrespective boys: none are for me
That look into me with considerate eyes:
High-reaching Buckingham grows circumspect.



Page. My lord?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Know'st thou not any whom corrupting gold
Would tempt unto a close exploit of death?



Page. My lord, I know a discontented gentleman,
Whose humble means match not his haughty mind:
Gold were as good as twenty orators,
And will, no doubt, tempt him to any thing.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). What is his name?



Page. His name, my lord, is Tyrrel.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). I partly know the man: go, call him hither.
[Exit Page]
The deep-revolving witty Buckingham
No more shall be the neighbour to my counsel:
Hath he so long held out with me untired,
And stops he now for breath?
How now! what news with you?



(stage directions). [Stands apart]

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Catesby!



Sir William Catesby. My lord?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Rumour it abroad
That Anne, my wife, is sick and like to die:
I will take order for her keeping close.
Inquire me out some mean-born gentleman,
Whom I will marry straight to Clarence' daughter:
The boy is foolish, and I fear not him.
Look, how thou dream'st! I say again, give out
That Anne my wife is sick and like to die:
About it; for it stands me much upon,
To stop all hopes whose growth may damage me.
I must be married to my brother's daughter,
Or else my kingdom stands on brittle glass.
Murder her brothers, and then marry her!
Uncertain way of gain! But I am in
So far in blood that sin will pluck on sin:
Tear-falling pity dwells not in this eye.
[Re-enter Page, with TYRREL]
Is thy name Tyrrel?



Sir James Tyrrel. James Tyrrel, and your most obedient subject.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Art thou, indeed?



Sir James Tyrrel. Prove me, my gracious sovereign.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Darest thou resolve to kill a friend of mine?



Sir James Tyrrel. Ay, my lord;
But I had rather kill two enemies.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Why, there thou hast it: two deep enemies,
Foes to my rest and my sweet sleep's disturbers
Are they that I would have thee deal upon:
Tyrrel, I mean those bastards in the Tower.



Sir James Tyrrel. Let me have open means to come to them,
And soon I'll rid you from the fear of them.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Thou sing'st sweet music. Hark, come hither, Tyrrel
Go, by this token: rise, and lend thine ear:
There is no more but so: say it is done,
And I will love thee, and prefer thee too.



Sir James Tyrrel. 'Tis done, my gracious lord.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Shall we hear from thee, Tyrrel, ere we sleep?



Duke of Buckingham. My Lord, I have consider'd in my mind. The late demand that you did sound me in.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Well, let that pass. Dorset is fled to Richmond.



Duke of Buckingham. I hear that news, my lord.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Stanley, he is your wife's son well, look to it.



Duke of Buckingham. My lord, I claim your gift, my due by promise,
For which your honour and your faith is pawn'd;
The earldom of Hereford and the moveables
The which you promised I should possess.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Stanley, look to your wife; if she convey
Letters to Richmond, you shall answer it.



Duke of Buckingham. What says your highness to my just demand?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). As I remember, Henry the Sixth
Did prophesy that Richmond should be king,
When Richmond was a little peevish boy.
A king, perhaps, perhaps,—



Duke of Buckingham. My lord!

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). How chance the prophet could not at that time
Have told me, I being by, that I should kill him?



Duke of Buckingham. My lord, your promise for the earldom,—

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Richmond! When last I was at Exeter,
The mayor in courtesy show'd me the castle,
And call'd it Rougemont: at which name I started,
Because a bard of Ireland told me once
I should not live long after I saw Richmond.



Duke of Buckingham. My Lord!

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Ay, what's o'clock?



Duke of Buckingham. I am thus bold to put your grace in mind
Of what you promised me.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Well, but what's o'clock?



Duke of Buckingham. Upon the stroke of ten.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Well, let it strike.



Duke of Buckingham. Why let it strike?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Because that, like a Jack, thou keep'st the stroke
Betwixt thy begging and my meditation.
I am not in the giving vein to-day.



Duke of Buckingham. Why, then resolve me whether you will or no.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Tut, tut,
Thou troublest me; am not in the vein.



Sir James Tyrrel. The tyrannous and bloody deed is done.
The most arch of piteous massacre
That ever yet this land was guilty of.
Dighton and Forrest, whom I did suborn
To do this ruthless piece of butchery,
Although they were flesh'd villains, bloody dogs,
Melting with tenderness and kind compassion
Wept like two children in their deaths' sad stories.
'Lo, thus' quoth Dighton, 'lay those tender babes:'
'Thus, thus,' quoth Forrest, 'girdling one another
Within their innocent alabaster arms:
Their lips were four red roses on a stalk,
Which in their summer beauty kiss'd each other.
A book of prayers on their pillow lay;
Which once,' quoth Forrest, 'almost changed my mind;
But O! the devil'—there the villain stopp'd
Whilst Dighton thus told on: 'We smothered
The most replenished sweet work of nature,
That from the prime creation e'er she framed.'
Thus both are gone with conscience and remorse;
They could not speak; and so I left them both,
To bring this tidings to the bloody king.
And here he comes.
All hail, my sovereign liege!

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Kind Tyrrel, am I happy in thy news?



Sir James Tyrrel. If to have done the thing you gave in charge
Beget your happiness, be happy then,
For it is done, my lord.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). But didst thou see them dead?



Sir James Tyrrel. I did, my lord.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). And buried, gentle Tyrrel?



Sir James Tyrrel. The chaplain of the Tower hath buried them;
But how or in what place I do not know.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Come to me, Tyrrel, soon at after supper,
And thou shalt tell the process of their death.
Meantime, but think how I may do thee good,
And be inheritor of thy desire.
Farewell till soon.
The son of Clarence have I pent up close;
His daughter meanly have I match'd in marriage;
The sons of Edward sleep in Abraham's bosom,
And Anne my wife hath bid the world good night.
Now, for I know the Breton Richmond aims
At young Elizabeth, my brother's daughter,
And, by that knot, looks proudly o'er the crown,
To her I go, a jolly thriving wooer.



Sir William Catesby. My lord!

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Good news or bad, that thou comest in so bluntly?



Sir William Catesby. Bad news, my lord: Ely is fled to Richmond;
And Buckingham, back'd with the hardy Welshmen,
Is in the field, and still his power increaseth.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Ely with Richmond troubles me more near
Than Buckingham and his rash-levied army.
Come, I have heard that fearful commenting
Is leaden servitor to dull delay;
Delay leads impotent and snail-paced beggary
Then fiery expedition be my wing,
Jove's Mercury, and herald for a king!
Come, muster men: my counsel is my shield;
We must be brief when traitors brave the field.



(stage directions). [Enter KING RICHARD III, marching, with drums and trumpets]

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Who intercepts my expedition?



Queen Elizabeth. Where is kind Hastings, Rivers, Vaughan, Grey?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). A flourish, trumpets! strike alarum, drums!
Let not the heavens hear these tell-tale women
Rail on the Lord's enointed: strike, I say!
[Flourish. Alarums]
Either be patient, and entreat me fair,
Or with the clamorous report of war
Thus will I drown your exclamations.



Duchess of York. Art thou my son?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Ay, I thank God, my father, and yourself.



Duchess of York. Then patiently hear my impatience.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Madam, I have a touch of your condition,
Which cannot brook the accent of reproof.



Duchess of York. O, let me speak!

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Do then: but I'll not hear.



Duchess of York. I will be mild and gentle in my speech.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). And brief, good mother; for I am in haste.



Duchess of York. Art thou so hasty? I have stay'd for thee,
God knows, in anguish, pain and agony.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). And came I not at last to comfort you?



Duchess of York. No, by the holy rood, thou know'st it well,
Thou camest on earth to make the earth my hell.
A grievous burthen was thy birth to me;
Tetchy and wayward was thy infancy;
Thy school-days frightful, desperate, wild, and furious,
Thy prime of manhood daring, bold, and venturous,
Thy age confirm'd, proud, subdued, bloody,
More mild, but yet more harmful, kind in hatred:
What comfortable hour canst thou name,
That ever graced me in thy company?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Faith, none, but Humphrey Hour, that call'd
your grace
To breakfast once forth of my company.
If I be so disgracious in your sight,
Let me march on, and not offend your grace.
Strike the drum.



Duchess of York. I prithee, hear me speak.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). You speak too bitterly.



Duchess of York. Hear me a word;
For I shall never speak to thee again.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). So.



Queen Elizabeth. Though far more cause, yet much less spirit to curse
Abides in me; I say amen to all.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Stay, madam; I must speak a word with you.



Queen Elizabeth. I have no more sons of the royal blood
For thee to murder: for my daughters, Richard,
They shall be praying nuns, not weeping queens;
And therefore level not to hit their lives.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). You have a daughter call'd Elizabeth,
Virtuous and fair, royal and gracious.



Queen Elizabeth. And must she die for this? O, let her live,
And I'll corrupt her manners, stain her beauty;
Slander myself as false to Edward's bed;
Throw over her the veil of infamy:
So she may live unscarr'd of bleeding slaughter,
I will confess she was not Edward's daughter.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Wrong not her birth, she is of royal blood.



Queen Elizabeth. To save her life, I'll say she is not so.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Her life is only safest in her birth.



Queen Elizabeth. And only in that safety died her brothers.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Lo, at their births good stars were opposite.



Queen Elizabeth. No, to their lives bad friends were contrary.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). All unavoided is the doom of destiny.



Queen Elizabeth. True, when avoided grace makes destiny:
My babes were destined to a fairer death,
If grace had bless'd thee with a fairer life.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). You speak as if that I had slain my cousins.



Queen Elizabeth. Cousins, indeed; and by their uncle cozen'd
Of comfort, kingdom, kindred, freedom, life.
Whose hand soever lanced their tender hearts,
Thy head, all indirectly, gave direction:
No doubt the murderous knife was dull and blunt
Till it was whetted on thy stone-hard heart,
To revel in the entrails of my lambs.
But that still use of grief makes wild grief tame,
My tongue should to thy ears not name my boys
Till that my nails were anchor'd in thine eyes;
And I, in such a desperate bay of death,
Like a poor bark, of sails and tackling reft,
Rush all to pieces on thy rocky bosom.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Madam, so thrive I in my enterprise
And dangerous success of bloody wars,
As I intend more good to you and yours,
Than ever you or yours were by me wrong'd!



Queen Elizabeth. What good is cover'd with the face of heaven,
To be discover'd, that can do me good?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). The advancement of your children, gentle lady.



Queen Elizabeth. Up to some scaffold, there to lose their heads?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). No, to the dignity and height of honour
The high imperial type of this earth's glory.



Queen Elizabeth. Flatter my sorrows with report of it;
Tell me what state, what dignity, what honour,
Canst thou demise to any child of mine?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Even all I have; yea, and myself and all,
Will I withal endow a child of thine;
So in the Lethe of thy angry soul
Thou drown the sad remembrance of those wrongs
Which thou supposest I have done to thee.



Queen Elizabeth. Be brief, lest that be process of thy kindness
Last longer telling than thy kindness' date.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Then know, that from my soul I love thy daughter.



Queen Elizabeth. My daughter's mother thinks it with her soul.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). What do you think?



Queen Elizabeth. That thou dost love my daughter from thy soul:
So from thy soul's love didst thou love her brothers;
And from my heart's love I do thank thee for it.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Be not so hasty to confound my meaning:
I mean, that with my soul I love thy daughter,
And mean to make her queen of England.



Queen Elizabeth. Say then, who dost thou mean shall be her king?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Even he that makes her queen who should be else?



Queen Elizabeth. What, thou?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). I, even I: what think you of it, madam?



Queen Elizabeth. How canst thou woo her?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). That would I learn of you,
As one that are best acquainted with her humour.



Queen Elizabeth. And wilt thou learn of me?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Madam, with all my heart.



Queen Elizabeth. Send to her, by the man that slew her brothers,
A pair of bleeding-hearts; thereon engrave
Edward and York; then haply she will weep:
Therefore present to her—as sometime Margaret
Did to thy father, steep'd in Rutland's blood,—
A handkerchief; which, say to her, did drain
The purple sap from her sweet brother's body
And bid her dry her weeping eyes therewith.
If this inducement force her not to love,
Send her a story of thy noble acts;
Tell her thou madest away her uncle Clarence,
Her uncle Rivers; yea, and, for her sake,
Madest quick conveyance with her good aunt Anne.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Come, come, you mock me; this is not the way
To win our daughter.



Queen Elizabeth. There is no other way
Unless thou couldst put on some other shape,
And not be Richard that hath done all this.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Say that I did all this for love of her.



Queen Elizabeth. Nay, then indeed she cannot choose but hate thee,
Having bought love with such a bloody spoil.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Look, what is done cannot be now amended:
Men shall deal unadvisedly sometimes,
Which after hours give leisure to repent.
If I did take the kingdom from your sons,
To make amends, Ill give it to your daughter.
If I have kill'd the issue of your womb,
To quicken your increase, I will beget
Mine issue of your blood upon your daughter
A grandam's name is little less in love
Than is the doting title of a mother;
They are as children but one step below,
Even of your mettle, of your very blood;
Of an one pain, save for a night of groans
Endured of her, for whom you bid like sorrow.
Your children were vexation to your youth,
But mine shall be a comfort to your age.
The loss you have is but a son being king,
And by that loss your daughter is made queen.
I cannot make you what amends I would,
Therefore accept such kindness as I can.
Dorset your son, that with a fearful soul
Leads discontented steps in foreign soil,
This fair alliance quickly shall call home
To high promotions and great dignity:
The king, that calls your beauteous daughter wife.
Familiarly shall call thy Dorset brother;
Again shall you be mother to a king,
And all the ruins of distressful times
Repair'd with double riches of content.
What! we have many goodly days to see:
The liquid drops of tears that you have shed
Shall come again, transform'd to orient pearl,
Advantaging their loan with interest
Of ten times double gain of happiness.
Go, then my mother, to thy daughter go
Make bold her bashful years with your experience;
Prepare her ears to hear a wooer's tale
Put in her tender heart the aspiring flame
Of golden sovereignty; acquaint the princess
With the sweet silent hours of marriage joys
And when this arm of mine hath chastised
The petty rebel, dull-brain'd Buckingham,
Bound with triumphant garlands will I come
And lead thy daughter to a conqueror's bed;
To whom I will retail my conquest won,
And she shall be sole victress, Caesar's Caesar.



Queen Elizabeth. What were I best to say? her father's brother
Would be her lord? or shall I say, her uncle?
Or, he that slew her brothers and her uncles?
Under what title shall I woo for thee,
That God, the law, my honour and her love,
Can make seem pleasing to her tender years?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Infer fair England's peace by this alliance.



Queen Elizabeth. Which she shall purchase with still lasting war.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Say that the king, which may command, entreats.



Queen Elizabeth. That at her hands which the king's King forbids.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Say, she shall be a high and mighty queen.



Queen Elizabeth. To wail the tide, as her mother doth.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Say, I will love her everlastingly.



Queen Elizabeth. But how long shall that title 'ever' last?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Sweetly in force unto her fair life's end.



Queen Elizabeth. But how long fairly shall her sweet lie last?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). So long as heaven and nature lengthens it.



Queen Elizabeth. So long as hell and Richard likes of it.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Say, I, her sovereign, am her subject love.



Queen Elizabeth. But she, your subject, loathes such sovereignty.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Be eloquent in my behalf to her.



Queen Elizabeth. An honest tale speeds best being plainly told.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Then in plain terms tell her my loving tale.



Queen Elizabeth. Plain and not honest is too harsh a style.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Your reasons are too shallow and too quick.



Queen Elizabeth. O no, my reasons are too deep and dead;
Too deep and dead, poor infants, in their grave.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Harp not on that string, madam; that is past.



Queen Elizabeth. Harp on it still shall I till heart-strings break.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Now, by my George, my garter, and my crown,—



Queen Elizabeth. Profaned, dishonour'd, and the third usurp'd.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). I swear—



Queen Elizabeth. By nothing; for this is no oath:
The George, profaned, hath lost his holy honour;
The garter, blemish'd, pawn'd his knightly virtue;
The crown, usurp'd, disgraced his kingly glory.
if something thou wilt swear to be believed,
Swear then by something that thou hast not wrong'd.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Now, by the world—



Queen Elizabeth. 'Tis full of thy foul wrongs.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). My father's death—



Queen Elizabeth. Thy life hath that dishonour'd.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Then, by myself—



Queen Elizabeth. Thyself thyself misusest.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Why then, by God—



Queen Elizabeth. God's wrong is most of all.
If thou hadst fear'd to break an oath by Him,
The unity the king thy brother made
Had not been broken, nor my brother slain:
If thou hadst fear'd to break an oath by Him,
The imperial metal, circling now thy brow,
Had graced the tender temples of my child,
And both the princes had been breathing here,
Which now, two tender playfellows to dust,
Thy broken faith hath made a prey for worms.
What canst thou swear by now?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). The time to come.



Queen Elizabeth. That thou hast wronged in the time o'erpast;
For I myself have many tears to wash
Hereafter time, for time past wrong'd by thee.
The children live, whose parents thou hast
Ungovern'd youth, to wail it in their age;
The parents live, whose children thou hast butcher'd,
Old wither'd plants, to wail it with their age.
Swear not by time to come; for that thou hast
Misused ere used, by time misused o'erpast.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). As I intend to prosper and repent,
So thrive I in my dangerous attempt
Of hostile arms! myself myself confound!
Heaven and fortune bar me happy hours!
Day, yield me not thy light; nor, night, thy rest!
Be opposite all planets of good luck
To my proceedings, if, with pure heart's love,
Immaculate devotion, holy thoughts,
I tender not thy beauteous princely daughter!
In her consists my happiness and thine;
Without her, follows to this land and me,
To thee, herself, and many a Christian soul,
Death, desolation, ruin and decay:
It cannot be avoided but by this;
It will not be avoided but by this.
Therefore, good mother,—I must can you so—
Be the attorney of my love to her:
Plead what I will be, not what I have been;
Not my deserts, but what I will deserve:
Urge the necessity and state of times,
And be not peevish-fond in great designs.



Queen Elizabeth. Shall I be tempted of the devil thus?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Ay, if the devil tempt thee to do good.



Queen Elizabeth. Shall I forget myself to be myself?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Ay, if yourself's remembrance wrong yourself.



Queen Elizabeth. But thou didst kill my children.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). But in your daughter's womb I bury them:
Where in that nest of spicery they shall breed
Selves of themselves, to your recomforture.



Queen Elizabeth. Shall I go win my daughter to thy will?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). And be a happy mother by the deed.



Queen Elizabeth. I go. Write to me very shortly.
And you shall understand from me her mind.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Bear her my true love's kiss; and so, farewell.
Relenting fool, and shallow, changing woman!
[Enter RATCLIFF; CATESBY following]
How now! what news?



Sir Richard Ratcliff. My gracious sovereign, on the western coast
Rideth a puissant navy; to the shore
Throng many doubtful hollow-hearted friends,
Unarm'd, and unresolved to beat them back:
'Tis thought that Richmond is their admiral;
And there they hull, expecting but the aid
Of Buckingham to welcome them ashore.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Some light-foot friend post to the Duke of Norfolk:
Ratcliff, thyself, or Catesby; where is he?



Sir William Catesby. Here, my lord.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Fly to the duke:
Post thou to Salisbury
When thou comest thither—
Dull, unmindful villain,
Why stand'st thou still, and go'st not to the duke?



Sir William Catesby. First, mighty sovereign, let me know your mind,
What from your grace I shall deliver to him.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). O, true, good Catesby: bid him levy straight
The greatest strength and power he can make,
And meet me presently at Salisbury.



Sir Richard Ratcliff. What is't your highness' pleasure I shall do at

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Why, what wouldst thou do there before I go?



Sir Richard Ratcliff. Your highness told me I should post before.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). My mind is changed, sir, my mind is changed.
How now, what news with you?



Sir William Stanley. None good, my lord, to please you with the hearing;
Nor none so bad, but it may well be told.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Hoyday, a riddle! neither good nor bad!
Why dost thou run so many mile about,
When thou mayst tell thy tale a nearer way?
Once more, what news?



Sir William Stanley. Richmond is on the seas.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). There let him sink, and be the seas on him!
White-liver'd runagate, what doth he there?



Sir William Stanley. I know not, mighty sovereign, but by guess.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Well, sir, as you guess, as you guess?



Sir William Stanley. Stirr'd up by Dorset, Buckingham, and Ely,
He makes for England, there to claim the crown.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Is the chair empty? is the sword unsway'd?
Is the king dead? the empire unpossess'd?
What heir of York is there alive but we?
And who is England's king but great York's heir?
Then, tell me, what doth he upon the sea?



Sir William Stanley. Unless for that, my liege, I cannot guess.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Unless for that he comes to be your liege,
You cannot guess wherefore the Welshman comes.
Thou wilt revolt, and fly to him, I fear.



Sir William Stanley. No, mighty liege; therefore mistrust me not.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Where is thy power, then, to beat him back?
Where are thy tenants and thy followers?
Are they not now upon the western shore.
Safe-conducting the rebels from their ships!



Sir William Stanley. No, my good lord, my friends are in the north.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Cold friends to Richard: what do they in the north,
When they should serve their sovereign in the west?



Sir William Stanley. They have not been commanded, mighty sovereign:
Please it your majesty to give me leave,
I'll muster up my friends, and meet your grace
Where and what time your majesty shall please.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Ay, ay. thou wouldst be gone to join with Richmond:
I will not trust you, sir.



Sir William Stanley. Most mighty sovereign,
You have no cause to hold my friendship doubtful:
I never was nor never will be false.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Well,
Go muster men; but, hear you, leave behind
Your son, George Stanley: look your faith be firm.
Or else his head's assurance is but frail.



Third Messenger. My lord, the army of the Duke of Buckingham—

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Out on you, owls! nothing but songs of death?
[He striketh him]
Take that, until thou bring me better news.



Third Messenger. The news I have to tell your majesty
Is, that by sudden floods and fall of waters,
Buckingham's army is dispersed and scatter'd;
And he himself wander'd away alone,
No man knows whither.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). I cry thee mercy:
There is my purse to cure that blow of thine.
Hath any well-advised friend proclaim'd
Reward to him that brings the traitor in?



Fourth Messenger. Sir Thomas Lovel and Lord Marquis Dorset,
'Tis said, my liege, in Yorkshire are in arms.
Yet this good comfort bring I to your grace,
The Breton navy is dispersed by tempest:
Richmond, in Yorkshire, sent out a boat
Unto the shore, to ask those on the banks
If they were his assistants, yea or no;
Who answer'd him, they came from Buckingham.
Upon his party: he, mistrusting them,
Hoisted sail and made away for Brittany.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). March on, march on, since we are up in arms;
If not to fight with foreign enemies,
Yet to beat down these rebels here at home.



Sir William Catesby. My liege, the Duke of Buckingham is taken;
That is the best news: that the Earl of Richmond
Is with a mighty power landed at Milford,
Is colder tidings, yet they must be told.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Away towards Salisbury! while we reason here,
A royal battle might be won and lost
Some one take order Buckingham be brought
To Salisbury; the rest march on with me.



(stage directions). [Enter KING RICHARD III in arms, with NORFOLK, SURREY, and others]

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Here pitch our tents, even here in Bosworth field.
My Lord of Surrey, why look you so sad?



Earl of Surrey. My heart is ten times lighter than my looks.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). My Lord of Norfolk,—



Duke of Norfolk. Here, most gracious liege.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Norfolk, we must have knocks; ha! must we not?



Duke of Norfolk. We must both give and take, my gracious lord.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Up with my tent there! here will I lie tonight;
But where to-morrow? Well, all's one for that.
Who hath descried the number of the foe?



Duke of Norfolk. Six or seven thousand is their utmost power.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Why, our battalion trebles that account:
Besides, the king's name is a tower of strength,
Which they upon the adverse party want.
Up with my tent there! Valiant gentlemen,
Let us survey the vantage of the field
Call for some men of sound direction
Let's want no discipline, make no delay,
For, lords, to-morrow is a busy day.
[Enter, on the other side of the field, RICHMOND,]
Sir William Brandon, OXFORD, and others. Some of
the Soldiers pitch RICHMOND's tent]



Richmond (Henry VII). Good night, good Captain Blunt. Come gentlemen,
Let us consult upon to-morrow's business
In to our tent; the air is raw and cold.
[They withdraw into the tent]
[Enter, to his tent, KING RICHARD III, NORFOLK,]
RATCLIFF, CATESBY, and others]

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). What is't o'clock?



Sir William Catesby. It's supper-time, my lord;
It's nine o'clock.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). I will not sup to-night.
Give me some ink and paper.
What, is my beaver easier than it was?
And all my armour laid into my tent?



Sir William Catesby. If is, my liege; and all things are in readiness.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Good Norfolk, hie thee to thy charge;
Use careful watch, choose trusty sentinels.



Duke of Norfolk. I go, my lord.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Stir with the lark to-morrow, gentle Norfolk.



(stage directions). [Exit]

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Catesby!



Sir William Catesby. My lord?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Send out a pursuivant at arms
To Stanley's regiment; bid him bring his power
Before sunrising, lest his son George fall
Into the blind cave of eternal night.
Fill me a bowl of wine. Give me a watch.
Saddle white Surrey for the field to-morrow.
Look that my staves be sound, and not too heavy.



Sir Richard Ratcliff. My lord?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Saw'st thou the melancholy Lord Northumberland?



Sir Richard Ratcliff. Thomas the Earl of Surrey, and himself,
Much about cock-shut time, from troop to troop
Went through the army, cheering up the soldiers.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). So, I am satisfied. Give me a bowl of wine:
I have not that alacrity of spirit,
Nor cheer of mind, that I was wont to have.
Set it down. Is ink and paper ready?



Sir Richard Ratcliff. It is, my lord.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Bid my guard watch; leave me.
Ratcliff, about the mid of night come to my tent
And help to arm me. Leave me, I say.
[Exeunt RATCLIFF and the other Attendants]
[Enter DERBY to RICHMOND in his tent, Lords and]
others attending]



(stage directions). [KING RICHARD III starts out of his dream]

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Give me another horse: bind up my wounds.
Have mercy, Jesu!—Soft! I did but dream.
O coward conscience, how dost thou afflict me!
The lights burn blue. It is now dead midnight.
Cold fearful drops stand on my trembling flesh.
What do I fear? myself? there's none else by:
Richard loves Richard; that is, I am I.
Is there a murderer here? No. Yes, I am:
Then fly. What, from myself? Great reason why:
Lest I revenge. What, myself upon myself?
Alack. I love myself. Wherefore? for any good
That I myself have done unto myself?
O, no! alas, I rather hate myself
For hateful deeds committed by myself!
I am a villain: yet I lie. I am not.
Fool, of thyself speak well: fool, do not flatter.
My conscience hath a thousand several tongues,
And every tongue brings in a several tale,
And every tale condemns me for a villain.
Perjury, perjury, in the high'st degree
Murder, stem murder, in the direst degree;
All several sins, all used in each degree,
Throng to the bar, crying all, Guilty! guilty!
I shall despair. There is no creature loves me;
And if I die, no soul shall pity me:
Nay, wherefore should they, since that I myself
Find in myself no pity to myself?
Methought the souls of all that I had murder'd
Came to my tent; and every one did threat
To-morrow's vengeance on the head of Richard.



Sir Richard Ratcliff. My lord!

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). 'Zounds! who is there?



Sir Richard Ratcliff. Ratcliff, my lord; 'tis I. The early village-cock
Hath twice done salutation to the morn;
Your friends are up, and buckle on their armour.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). O Ratcliff, I have dream'd a fearful dream!
What thinkest thou, will our friends prove all true?



Sir Richard Ratcliff. No doubt, my lord.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). O Ratcliff, I fear, I fear,—



Sir Richard Ratcliff. Nay, good my lord, be not afraid of shadows.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). By the apostle Paul, shadows to-night
Have struck more terror to the soul of Richard
Than can the substance of ten thousand soldiers
Armed in proof, and led by shallow Richmond.
It is not yet near day. Come, go with me;
Under our tents I'll play the eaves-dropper,
To see if any mean to shrink from me.



Richmond (Henry VII). Why, then 'tis time to arm and give direction.
[His oration to his soldiers]
More than I have said, loving countrymen,
The leisure and enforcement of the time
Forbids to dwell upon: yet remember this,
God and our good cause fight upon our side;
The prayers of holy saints and wronged souls,
Like high-rear'd bulwarks, stand before our faces;
Richard except, those whom we fight against
Had rather have us win than him they follow:
For what is he they follow? truly, gentlemen,
A bloody tyrant and a homicide;
One raised in blood, and one in blood establish'd;
One that made means to come by what he hath,
And slaughter'd those that were the means to help him;
Abase foul stone, made precious by the foil
Of England's chair, where he is falsely set;
One that hath ever been God's enemy:
Then, if you fight against God's enemy,
God will in justice ward you as his soldiers;
If you do sweat to put a tyrant down,
You sleep in peace, the tyrant being slain;
If you do fight against your country's foes,
Your country's fat shall pay your pains the hire;
If you do fight in safeguard of your wives,
Your wives shall welcome home the conquerors;
If you do free your children from the sword,
Your children's children quit it in your age.
Then, in the name of God and all these rights,
Advance your standards, draw your willing swords.
For me, the ransom of my bold attempt
Shall be this cold corpse on the earth's cold face;
But if I thrive, the gain of my attempt
The least of you shall share his part thereof.
Sound drums and trumpets boldly and cheerfully;
God and Saint George! Richmond and victory!
[Re-enter KING RICHARD, RATCLIFF, Attendants]
and Forces]

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). What said Northumberland as touching Richmond?



Sir Richard Ratcliff. That he was never trained up in arms.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). He said the truth: and what said Surrey then?



Sir Richard Ratcliff. He smiled and said 'The better for our purpose.'

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). He was in the right; and so indeed it is.
[Clock striketh]
Ten the clock there. Give me a calendar.
Who saw the sun to-day?



Sir Richard Ratcliff. Not I, my lord.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Then he disdains to shine; for by the book
He should have braved the east an hour ago
A black day will it be to somebody. Ratcliff!



Sir Richard Ratcliff. My lord?

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). The sun will not be seen to-day;
The sky doth frown and lour upon our army.
I would these dewy tears were from the ground.
Not shine to-day! Why, what is that to me
More than to Richmond? for the selfsame heaven
That frowns on me looks sadly upon him.



Duke of Norfolk. Arm, arm, my lord; the foe vaunts in the field.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Come, bustle, bustle; caparison my horse.
Call up Lord Stanley, bid him bring his power:
I will lead forth my soldiers to the plain,
And thus my battle shall be ordered:
My foreward shall be drawn out all in length,
Consisting equally of horse and foot;
Our archers shall be placed in the midst
John Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Earl of Surrey,
Shall have the leading of this foot and horse.
They thus directed, we will follow
In the main battle, whose puissance on either side
Shall be well winged with our chiefest horse.
This, and Saint George to boot! What think'st thou, Norfolk?



(stage directions). [He sheweth him a paper]

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). [Reads]
'Jockey of Norfolk, be not too bold,
For Dickon thy master is bought and sold.'
A thing devised by the enemy.
Go, gentleman, every man unto his charge
Let not our babbling dreams affright our souls:
Conscience is but a word that cowards use,
Devised at first to keep the strong in awe:
Our strong arms be our conscience, swords our law.
March on, join bravely, let us to't pell-mell
If not to heaven, then hand in hand to hell.
[His oration to his Army]
What shall I say more than I have inferr'd?
Remember whom you are to cope withal;
A sort of vagabonds, rascals, and runaways,
A scum of Bretons, and base lackey peasants,
Whom their o'er-cloyed country vomits forth
To desperate ventures and assured destruction.
You sleeping safe, they bring to you unrest;
You having lands, and blest with beauteous wives,
They would restrain the one, distain the other.
And who doth lead them but a paltry fellow,
Long kept in Bretagne at our mother's cost?
A milk-sop, one that never in his life
Felt so much cold as over shoes in snow?
Let's whip these stragglers o'er the seas again;
Lash hence these overweening rags of France,
These famish'd beggars, weary of their lives;
Who, but for dreaming on this fond exploit,
For want of means, poor rats, had hang'd themselves:
If we be conquer'd, let men conquer us,
And not these bastard Bretons; whom our fathers
Have in their own land beaten, bobb'd, and thump'd,
And in record, left them the heirs of shame.
Shall these enjoy our lands? lie with our wives?
Ravish our daughters?
[Drum afar off]
Hark! I hear their drum.
Fight, gentlemen of England! fight, bold yoemen!
Draw, archers, draw your arrows to the head!
Spur your proud horses hard, and ride in blood;
Amaze the welkin with your broken staves!
[Enter a Messenger]
What says Lord Stanley? will he bring his power?



Messenger. My lord, he doth deny to come.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Off with his son George's head!



Duke of Norfolk. My lord, the enemy is past the marsh
After the battle let George Stanley die.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). A thousand hearts are great within my bosom:
Advance our standards, set upon our foes
Our ancient word of courage, fair Saint George,
Inspire us with the spleen of fiery dragons!
Upon them! victory sits on our helms.



(stage directions). [Alarums. Enter KING RICHARD III]

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!



Sir William Catesby. Withdraw, my lord; I'll help you to a horse.

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Slave, I have set my life upon a cast,
And I will stand the hazard of the die:
I think there be six Richmonds in the field;
Five have I slain to-day instead of him.
A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!

Return to the "Richard III" menu